Questions for parents
Can I get help with my child's behaviour?
Yes, you are able to get support from the YOS on a voluntary basis. You will need to speak with your child's Case Manager and they will make a referral to our Parenting Officer or give you advice on where you can sought advice / help.
How often will I get support?
This depends on your individual needs. You may only require one session or support over a period of time.
How long will my support last?
If you attend a Parenting Programme a review will be held at the end of the programme. This will enable you discuss what progress has been made and whether you feel you need further support. If further support is required then a decision will be made between you and the Parenting Officer as to what support is needed and you will provide it.
If you are receiving 1:1 support from the Parenting Officer your case will be reviewed every 4 weeks to assess what progress has been made. At 12 weeks a decision will be made regarding what further support is required and which service will provide it.
Will my support stop when my child's order ends?
If you are attending a Parenting Programme then you are encouraged to complete all sessions and then attend your review, which is mentioned above.
If you are receiving 1:1 your plan will be reviewed as mentioned above.
Where will my support take place?
If you are attending a Parenting Programme the venue will be within South Tyneside. You travel costs will reimbursed.
If you are receiving 1:1, depending on your circumstances your appointments may be at your family home or YOS office or a combination of both. Should another venue be required then this can be discussed.
Who can get a Parenting Order?
A Parenting Order can be made in the following circumstances against the parent/carer of any child who is brought into court for an offence:
- When a child is made the subject of an Anti-Social Behaviour Order or a Sex Offender Order.
- When a parent/carer is prosecuted for their child's poor attendance at school.
- When a child is made the subject of a Child Safety Order.
Any parent or carer that a young person lives with can be given a Parenting Order - so this may include a step-parent.
A parent who is not living with, but is in regular contact, may also be issued with a separate order.
What happens when a Parenting Order is made?
When a Parenting Order is made, the parent/carer should give their details and contact number to the representative of the Youth Offending Service (YOS) who is in court.
How does the court decide to make a Parenting Order?
When making an order, the court must only consider the evidence before them at the prosecution.
Does the parent/carer have to be in court?
A Parenting Order can be made without the parent/carer being present in court, but it is better if they can attend because, if asked, they can express their views.
What will happen if the parent/carer does not keep to the conditions of the order?
If the parent/carer does not give genuine reasons for this, they will be in breach of the order. This means the parent/carer will first be given a written warning and, if they still fail to keep to the conditions of the order, a meeting will be called to review the situation.
If, after these procedures, the parent/carer still does not comply with the order, they may be taken back to court. If this does happen, the parent/carer will be subject to further proceedings, resulting in a criminal conviction, which could be a fine of up to £1000 or an Adult Community Sentence.
Questions for young people
What should I do if I have to go to court?
The first thing you should do if you have to go to court is to get a solicitor. If you cannot afford to pay for a solicitor, you should be eligible for legal aid, which covers a solicitor's fees. If you still don't have a solicitor by the time you get to court, you should ask at court for the duty solicitor.
Who else will be in the court?
The usher, the clerk, the prosecutor, your defence, the youth offending service and the magistrates.
What will happen if I plead guilty to an offence?
If a young person pleads guilty, the court has various options open to it: absolute discharge, hospital order, referral order or custody.
What happens if I plead not guilty to an offence?
In this case, the defence and the prosecution will probably ask for the case to be adjourned for a pre trial review, where the clerk of the court will set a date for the trial.
At the trial itself, once all of the prosecution case has been laid, the defence will start its case by calling its list of witnesses. This is then repeated, with the defence going first.
When this process has been completed, the magistrates will leave the court to discuss all of the evidence that they have heard and to decide whether or not the young person is guilty.
What happens if I am found guilty?
An order will be made by the court to determine the appropriate punishment.
What is a Pre-Sentence Report?
The Youth Offending Service is asked by the Court to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report, sometimes called a �PSR�. This is a written report to help the Court consider the choices open to it when you are sentenced.
On leaving the court, you will be given a time and date for an appointment to see a member of the Youth Offending Service. You must keep this appointment and if you are 16 years old or younger your parent or guardian must attend the appointment with you.
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